Governor Tom Corbett is in Europe this week to promote Pennsylvania business and tourism.
The governor is scheduled to visit Paris and Lyon in France, as well as Stuttgart and Dusseldorf in Germany. Corbett will meet with Pennsylvania businesses that have overseas branches, and speak with hundreds of potential foreign investors. He'll also tour various facilities in both countries.
Political science professor Terry Madonna of Franklin & Marshall College said a trip like this is business as usual for governors across the country.
"Historically, they'll do these trade missions and they'll come back and bring some evidence that they built and developed a relationship," said Madonna. "[Former Pennsylvania Governor] Tom Ridge went to Vietnam during its expanding days."
This five day business trip is being paid for by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation. Chuck Ardo, spokesman for former Governor Ed Rendell, said it's better to have the private sector pay for such trips than taxpayers — but it is still a "double-edged sword."
"It opens doors to questions about favoritism and that kind of thing, and influence buying, and these are very, very slippery slopes," said Ardo.
Corbett arrived in Lyon, France on Sunday; his last day in Europe is Friday, in Dusseldorf, Germany.